Courage to Address Difficult Situations

Curt Stutzman,

Curt Stutzman, President/CEO, Messiah Lifeways, Mechanicsburg, PA

“Soon after entering the senior living field 18 years ago, at a previous organization we began a campus expansion that resulted in significant financial pressure. As a result, we had to modify resident agreements to stabilize operations. The president and I, as CFO, along with operational leaders met with small groups of residents over several weeks to lay out the situation and ask them to choose between two options. This was not a pleasant task, but one that was necessary for the long term health of the operation.  While it affected trust negatively in the short term, in the long term the change did what was intended, and ten years later the trust level of leaders was restored to a high level. This experience taught me the importance of having the courage to address difficult situations in the workplace, involve those affected in the solution, and to move forward purposefully to implement needed changes. I was grateful for a courageous and supportive CEO who was willing to be uncomfortable in the short term for long term benefits.”